Indian Impacts: Building Bricks

Building a civilization upon a firm foundation of fired bricks has a long tradition that’s been traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization.

Ceramic, or fired brick was used as early as 3000 BC in early Indus Valley cities.

The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilisation (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1600 BCE) mainly in the northwestern regions of South Asia, extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India.

Mohenjo-daro is an archeological site in the province of Sindh, Pakistan.

Built around 2500 BCE, it was one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley civilization, and one of the world’s earliest major urban settlements, contemporaneous with the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Minoan Crete, and Norte Chico.

Harappan Linear Measurements and Brick Sizes

On the basis of two rare discoveries of what have been referred to as scales, combined with careful analysis of architectural features, the earlier excavators calculated that there were two systems of linear measurement at use in the Indus cities, the foot (13.2 inches or 33.35 cm) and the cubit (20.8 inches or 52.83 cm)
(Marshall 1931; Mackay 1938; Vats 1940).

The earliest fired bricks produced at Harappa measure around 7 x 14 x 28 cm (1:2:4 ratio).

Measuring the Harappan World – J M Kenoyer – 2010
The Archaeology of Measurement – I Morley and C Renfrew

This tradition was alive and well in Sri Lanka during the first half of the 1st millennium CE.

The Jetavanaramaya is a stupa located in the ruins of Jetavana in the sacred world heritage city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka.

Mahasena of Anuradhapura [277- 304 AD] initiated the construction of the stupa following the destruction of the mahavihara.

His son Maghavanna I completed the construction of the stupa

Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization.

It was the third capital of the Kingdom of Rajarata, following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara.

Rajarata was one of three historical regions of the island of Sri Lanka for about 1,700 years from the 6th century BCE to the early 13th century CE.

In India this tradition appears to have ground to abrupt halt [sometime] around 500 CE.

Mansar is a census town in Ramtek tehsil of Nagpur district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.

These excavations have resulted in the discovery of various shrines (MNS 3, 4, 5) and a palace complex (MNS 2), identified as Pravarapura, the capital of the Vakataka king Pravarasena II (1st half of 5th century).

Adjacent to this palace, on Hidimba Tekri (MNS 3), an extensive temple complex has been unearthed, identified as Pravareśvara.

A 3 m tall lime model of a male human figure in crouching position was found underneath one of the terraces of MNS 3.

Significant 5th-century sculptures of Hindu deities, artefacts and some coins have been discovered in the excavations.

The water reservoir around the site and findings of ancient tools and other objects point to the fact that a large population inhabited the area 1600 years ago.,_India

The Vakataka Empire was a dynasty from the Indian subcontinent that originated from the Deccan in the mid-3rd century CE [to circa 500 CE].

The demise of the Vakataka Empire in [about] 500 CE was probably catastrophic given the physical bulk of the ballast and boulders that buried Pravarapura.

The curiously coincidental aspect of this tale of civilizations is that when the Romans adopted fired bricks they also adopted the foot [known as the pes Drusianus – the foot of Nero Claudius Drusus] of “about 334 mm” which is a rounded version of the foot used by the Indus Valley Civilization that was 333.5 mm long.

Early civilisations around the Mediterranean adopted the use of fired bricks, including the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

The Roman legions operated mobile kilns, and built large brick structures throughout the Roman Empire, stamping the bricks with the seal of the legion.

The Romans only developed fired clay bricks under the Empire, but had previously used “mud brick”, dried only by the sun and therefore much weaker and only suitable for smaller buildings.

Development began under Augustus, using techniques developed by the Greeks, who had been using fired bricks much longer, and the earliest dated building in Rome to make use of fired brick is the Theatre of Marcellus, completed in 13 BC.

The Theatre of Marcellus (Latin: Theatrum Marcelli, Italian: Teatro di Marcello) is an ancient open-air theatre in Rome, Italy, built in the closing years of the Roman Republic.

However, it is also the earliest dateable building in Rome to make use of fired Roman brick, then a new introduction from the Greek world.

Archeologists believe that the Egyptians, Ancient Indians and Mesopotamians preferred the cubit while the Romans and the Greeks preferred the foot.

The standard Roman foot (pes) was normally about 295.7 mm (97% of today’s measurement), but in the provinces, the pes Drusianus (foot of Nero Claudius Drusus) was used, with a length of about 334 mm.

The Belgic or North German foot of 335 mm (13.2 inches) was introduced to England either by the Belgic Celts during their invasions prior to the Romans or by the Anglo-Saxons in the 5th & 6th century.

In terms of the revised chronology this coincidence provides another indication that [some] survivors migrated to the Mediterranean when Mother Nature vented her spleen at India.

The reconciliation of the Roman Greece Splice suggests the crushing of the entire Greek peninsula in 88 BC is associated with the perihelion of Comet Halley in 607 CE and that the Year of the Four Emperors in 69 AD was triggered by the sand layer associated with the perihelion of Comet Halley in 760 CE.

The Roman Termination Events slot neatly into position centered upon the Year of the Six Emperors in 238 AD which aligns with the perihelion of Comet Halley in 912 CE.


Therefore, it appears that fired bricks and the foot can be added to the growing list of artefacts that travelled westward Out of India.




The curious history of fired bricks during the 1st millennium stretches far and wide.

In China the earliest known brick pagoda sprang up in 523 AD just after the Vakataka Empire appears to have been buried in India around 500 AD.

The Songyue Pagoda, constructed in AD 523, is located at the Songyue Monastery on Mount Song, in Henan province, China.

Built during the Northern Wei Dynasty, this pagoda is one of the few intact sixth-century pagodas in China and is also the earliest known Chinese brick pagoda.

Most structures from that period were made of wood and have not survived, although ruins of rammed earth fortifications still exist.

The Songyue Pagoda is the oldest brick pagoda dating to 523 AD.

It was built with yellow fired bricks laid in clay mortar, with twelve sides and fifteen levels of roofs.

And in North America it was reported that “cisterns of Roman brick” were found 70 feet underground in the vicinity of Memphis, Tennessee.

While this work is going through the press, an article has appeared in “Harper’s Monthly Magazine,” (September, 1882, p. 609,) entitled “The Mississippi River Problem,” written by David A. Curtis, in which the author says

“When La Salle found out how goodly a land it was, his report was the warrant of eviction that drove out the red man to make place for the white, as the mound-builders had made place for the Indian in what we call the days of old.

Yet it must have been only yesterday that the mound-builders wrought in the valley, for in the few centuries that have elapsed since then the surface of the ground has risen only a few feet not enough to bury their works out of sight.

How long ago, then, must it have been that the race lived there whose pavements and cisterns of Roman brick now lie seventy feet underground?’”

Mr. Curtis does not mean that the bricks found this prehistoric settlement had any in historical connection with Rome, but simply that they resemble Roman bricks.

These remains, I learn, were discovered in the vicinity of Memphis, Tennessee.

The details have not yet, so far as I am aware, been published.

Ragnarok: The Age Of Fire And Gravel – Ignatius Donnelly – 1883


I wonder if those “details” ever officially saw the light of day…

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8 Responses to Indian Impacts: Building Bricks

  1. What mess would be created if the cultures using fire-bricks were contemporaneous? This is a 100th monkey principle type of thing. The movement of culture from India to Europe might not be real but an artefact caused by sequencing civilisations according to the Darwinian evolution model, that is itself a secular variant of creationism.

    Just thinking……

  2. malagabay says:

    There are several ways to fit the pieces of the jigsaw together.

    P. N. Oak’s Worldwide Vedic Culture concept implies the focus could simply shift to another cultural centre.

  3. rishrac says:

    I think there is more to this. How were they able to determine a meter? 0.52 is 1/6 of circle of 1 meter in diameter. The pyramids are much finer in that it’s down to a 1/10th of a millimeter. One side of the great pyramid is out by about 1.3 cm . Rounding the 1/10 up on all the blocks on one side did that. That’s a 1/10th of a millimeter. There must be some universal way of being able to determine that without a lot of effort. There are huge blocks that were cut and shaped at a quarry in Cambodia, transported a great distance. What did they use to measure at both sites that was so precise? Metal, wood or string expands, contracts or stretches.
    Then there is Adam’s Bridge from India to Sri Lanka. It seems I remember some bricks being used. Didn’t pay that much attention. I wish I had. I was in awe that the thing existed. It’s mostly under water now.

  4. thx1138 says:

    According to what we’ve been taught, quarried stone blocks weighing several tons were hauled to the pyramids, before the invention of the wheel. They were quarried out of the hillside with tools made of copper, a soft metal. And a city’s worth of laborers were housed and worked in a cramped area for decades. It seems so difficult to imagine, much less believe. And little evidence exists to support this idea – no copper tools have been found around the site, no evidence remains from housing that many laborers, and no clear hieroglyphs exist documenting the quarrying, transportation, or ramp-lifting of these blocks.

    In the 1980s, a French materials scientist named Joseph Davidovits proposed a different theory – the Egyptians didn’t haul the blocks to the pyramids but rather made the blocks one at a time in place on the pyramids. Davidovits suggested that the blocks were formed by pouring an ancient concrete – he called it geopolymer – into wooden molds. A fraction of the laborers would be needed to haul sacks of moist geopolymer concrete to wooden forms placed exactly where each block was needed. Joints between poured concrete block would always be perfectly accurate as a compacted moist mixture hardens against neighboring blocks. Davidovits suggested that the geopolymer concrete was made from crushed limestone, clay, water, and lime, a highly alkaline (the opposite of acidic) activator that caused the crushed limestone mixture to reconstitute into a man-made stone.

    These geopolymer stones are indistinguishable from natural stone. I’m wondering whether this technology spread also to South America and other places where huge pyramids have been built.

    Also thank you for the introduction to the hundredth monkey phenomenon. I’m surprised that Rupert Sheldrake doesn’t use this phenomenon in his discussions regarding the morphic field.

  5. rishrac says:

    It has been known since, either the 1920’s or earlier that the blocks of the pyramids were that precise.The golden ratio also runs throughout as well. Which still leaves me puzzled as to how they were able to calculate a meter in the first place and down to 1/10th of a millimeter. Of course the idea that the blocks were man made is one idea. That doesn’t explain how in other areas, like Thailand and Cambodia, the blocks were cut precisely at one location and transported to another without the ability to accurately reproduce a measuring system. I think the blocks were cut rather than man made. That’s from the quarries the evidence that’s left behind.
    The tool question only deepens the mystery. And if the blocks were man made, what kind of form did they use that didn’t shrink, expand or get out of shape from repeated use? And it could be said that you could build one that could be used to get the degree of accuracy, but how long would that take? You’d have to build a few forms with that degree of accuracy.
    Here’s what that means. Every few years a faster computer is developed. When you get the latest and greatest, it is not. It has to be clocked. All the communication that currently exists is built on clocks. There has to be a machine faster than the one they sell to build it. When they build something to a 1/10th of a millimeter, they have to be able to determine 1/100th of a millimeter.
    Whats more, whoever built the pyramids had to know that they had to build them with precision. Can you imagine building something that huge with a tolerance of even an 1/8th of an inch? Just as an aside, I mentioned that one side of the great pyramid is out. That may have been on purpose as the shape allows for a shadow to occur on the longest day of the year. There is a slight angle in. There is a photo somewhere of a British pilot who saw it back in the early part of the last century.
    Whether the blocks were man made or cut, it makes you wonder whether we could have built them.
    One other thing, I couldn’t understand why some of the buildings were built of stones of different sizes and shapes rather than consistently shaped blocks. Why would you go through the trouble of shaping each stone rather than having a uniform block. It turns out those odd shaped stones in buildings like that resist earthquakes.

  6. Deep ocean basins were made from magma replacing the continental crust that was now isolated into what we see today, with only metres of movement after the explosive events of the expulsion. Prior to that, the smaller Adam’s surface was basically all continental crust, created inside Eden\/Aten. Humans could travel easily. The expulsion is also known as the Dryas\/Dyas events, blasting North America with diamonds

  7. Pingback: Enigmatic Egypt: Roman Ruination – Red Sea Hills | MalagaBay

  8. Pingback: Indian Salt: Kingdom of Funan | MalagaBay

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